Friday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) responded to religious groups filing separate federal lawsuits against him over his new restrictions limiting attendance at religious gatherings amid a spike in cases in some New York City neighborhoods.
Cuomo told “CNN Newsroom” acknowledged that it is a “complicated” situation because of different cultural aspects, but said that everyone has to “follow the rules,” no matter their religion.
“They are not following the rules. We know what happens when you don’t follow the rules: the infection rate goes up,” Cuomo advised. “And it just proves our point from the get-go. We know how to control the virus, but you have to control the virus. You have to be disciplined. And when you don’t follow the rules, it goes up. And that’s what’s happening in these very small clusters. Now, these are religious groups, it tends to get more complicated, frankly, because of some cultural aspects. But that’s what we’re seeing in New York.”
“The cluster is a predominantly ultra-orthodox cluster,” he continued. “The Catholic schools are closed because they happen to be in that cluster, but the issue is with that ultra-orthodox community. This is not a matter of religious freedom, right? I don’t care if you’re a Roman Catholic, you’re Jewish, you’re Muslim, you’re an atheist, you have to follow the rules of the state, the laws of the state. And I understand the beliefs of the ultra-orthodox, I’ve been very close to them all my life. I’m a big supporter of theirs, but they have to follow the rules, Jim, because we’re seeing the truth. And the truth is if you don’t follow the rules, the infection rate spreads, people get sick, and then you make others sick. You know, we’re talking about Brooklyn. We’re not talking about a hermetically sealed community in a rural area. This is in the middle of Brooklyn. They will make other people sick.”
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